The Westchester Jewish Council's
Community Connection -
Summer Issue #5

August 19, 2021 11 Elul 5781

Good day. It always seems to happen around this time in August. Conversations amongst friends and even strangers involve some mention of how disappointing it is to see the long summer days coming to an end. This summer in particular feels a tad bit shorter due to the "early" arrival of Rosh Hashanah. In the Jewish calendar, the month of Elul is the last month of the year and sets a tone of reflection for the year that has passed as well as thinking about the year ahead.

The Council has been engaging in this thought process as we plan for the coming year. We are excited to continue in our role of convening and coordinating our vibrant Westchester area community, offering many of our regular programs and introducing some new ones and highlighting the incredible work of our 135 member organizations. As always, check our calendar for upcoming programming from our member synagogues and organizations.

In this edition:
  • Westchester Jewish Council Upcoming Programs
  • Westchester County Government News
  • Member Events
  • Member Organization News
  • Odds and Ends
  • Westchester County Employment Opportunities
  • Security Update
  • Teen Scene 

Enjoy the weekend and Shabbat Shalom!
William H. Schrag, President
Lori Kurlander, Communications Manager
Elliot Forchheimer, CEO
(The Council is financially supported by donations from individuals,
dues from 134 member organizations and generous grant support from UJA-Federation.)
Please support the work of the Westchester Jewish Council. Your donation makes a difference each and every day. Click here to donate.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 13th from 7:00 to 8:15pm
This annual program is open to the leadership of the Westchester Jewish Council member organizations, Council board members and our elected officials. It will take place outdoors at the JCC of Mid-Westchester. More details to follow.
We share with you a Facebook post from Ossining Mayor Rika Levin:

I write to you today to share some troubling information. I received a call from a concerned citizen that there was graffiti which included a swastika on a red slide at Nelson Park playground. This discovery was made when a local group of community members were cleaning the area as part of Stash the Trash. I contacted the Chief of Police who immediately sent police officers to investigate. I personally went to look at the slide and the graffiti. After taking the appropriate evidence and pictures, the police removed the graffiti.
As many of us know, there is nothing humorous or insignificant about a swastika. The equilateral cross was the official emblem of the Nazi Party. It is recognized around the world as a symbol of oppression, hatred and the sadistic death of millions of people. I myself am the child of two Holocaust survivors and this symbol hits me deeply in the most personal way. Regardless of when it was drawn, it was discovered today by a group of people in our village, only a few weeks ahead of the most sacred of Jewish holidays. This type of graffiti is an embarrassment to our Village and wounds people of all faiths, made all the more so in that it was drawn in a children’s playground.
I recognize that for all of us that seek a world where people live a respected and respectful life, there is a delicate balance between trying not to overreact and ensuring such acts are not overlooked or treated lightly. As I write this message Ossining Police have no suspects but are pursuing all leads and encourage members of the community to contact them if they know of anyone who has posted graffiti at Nelson Park playground. I have chosen not to post a picture of the graffiti as to not give publicity or platform to this vile act and its creator. There is no place for hate in Ossining!

Mayor Rika Levin - 8/15/21
visit the full Community Calendar at

She Knew Where She Was Going
Gee’s Bend Quilts and Civil Rights
Wednesday, August 25, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Gee’s Bend, Alabama, is home to generations of extraordinary Black craftswomen whose quilts represent a crucial chapter in the history of American Art. Since the early 1800s, these women have transformed worn clothes, sacks, and other fabric remnants into patterns that surpass the boundaries of the genre. Join us as we welcome Brittany Luberda, Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts at the Baltimore Museum of Art, who will provide us with a virtual tour of BMA's "She Knew Where She Was Going" exhibit, featuring five beautiful Gee's Bend quilts acquired with support from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation and Community Partnership.  
To register and receive the link, please click: Gee's Bend Quilting
Lasting Impressions: DOROT’s Legacy Project is generously supported by a grant from the Keller-Shatanoff Foundation 

COVID-19 as of August 26, 2021
Thursday, August 26, 2021
12:30 - 2:00 pm EDT
An online webinar, the 14th Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symposium sponsored by New York Medical College of the Touro College and University System. Continuing Medical Education credits are available upon request.
A Presentation by the Center for Disaster Medicine of New York Medical College of the Touro College and University System.
What have we learned?
How can we use what we have learned?

Questions may be submitted to -

Exciting news about ACHI:
Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry, in cooperation with the Ministry’s attachés in New York, has unveiled a unique collaboration with the American Communities Helping Israel (ACHI) organization to expand the circle of customers and sales of Israeli manufacturers with a “Made in Israel” label in the US and Canadian markets.
The ACHI has launched a dedicated sales platform for the products, and the collaboration encourages members of Jewish and pro-Israel communities in the U.S. and Canada to purchase products manufactured in Israel and thus support employment in Israel and strengthen the Israeli economy.

To read the full article, please click here.
To learn more about ACHI, please visit their website -
The Hebrew Free Burial Association is a member organization of the Council. Read below to learn more about how they can be a resource to those of the Jewish faith regarding end of life concerns.

The Hebrew Free Burial Association began in the 1880’s as a free burial society serving the residents of Manhattan’s Lower East Side and was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1889. As the need grew in adjacent Jewish communities, HFBA also grew to serve the broader metropolitan area of New York City. HFBA is currently the largest free burial society outside of Israel.
Although as a community, Jews have successfully created many organizations dedicated to helping the unfortunate among us deal with crises of living, HFBA is unique in that it cares for impoverished, marginalized Jews after death. Typically, an indigent person in New York City is buried in an anonymous mass grave in Potter’s Field after lying in a morgue, potentially for many months. HFBA, through its contacts with city and social service agencies, is notified about Jewish decedents and makes arrangements so that every Jew receives a prompt, dignified Jewish funeral and burial. Click here for a complete description.

To learn more about this invaluable organization, please click
Single? 45 +? Looking to get out to socialize? United Jewish Federation invites boomer Jewish singles to a BEN Meet & Mingle gathering on Monday, August 23rd at 7:30pm. For ages 45 & up (including Baby Boomers). Meet new friends and enjoy a social night out - $27 includes refreshments and drinks. Outdoors in a tent at Restaurant 613, 108 Prospect Ave in Stamford, CT. RSVP by 8/22/21 at For more information, contact Sharon Franklin at or call 203-321-1373 ext. 109. (BEN = Boomer Engagement Network).
Top 20 Weird, Wacky and Remarkable Things about Israel 
Thank you to Council Board Member Marc Klee for sharing this interesting video about Israel.
Hebrew Congregation of Somers, a warm, inspired, and collaborative Jewish community in Northern Westchester, is in search of Hebrew School teachers for Sunday mornings. We are looking for innovative, organized and dynamic experiential educators with a variety of strengths. What are you passionate about teaching? ex: Hebrew, tefillah, Torah studies, Jewish History, Israel studies, mitzvot/midot, Jewish nature studies. We welcome all forms of artistic expression! Teachers at HCS work in a supportive, collaborative and creative environment. Compensation is competitive. We would love to hear from you!

Please contact Jill, our Education Director:
At the Shames JCC in Tarrytown, we are hiring for our after school program Almost Home. Our program provides care to children in grades K-6 from school dismissal until 6pm. Work with the staff team to create entertaining activities that engage children creatively, physically, and socially, in a safe atmosphere. Counselors are employed part-time, two to five days a week and are offered additional hours during early dismissal days and vacation mini-camps.

If you love working with kids, are a team player and able to work after school hours (2:00-6:00), apply on our website at:

For more information, please click here.

"By failing to prepareyou are preparing to fail" B. Franklin
Our (virtual) annual High Holiday Security Briefing in conjunction with the Westchester County Executive and law enforcement is scheduled for September 1st at 10am. More details to follow.
The Hebrew Free Loan Society (HFLS) (Council member) has created a bridge loan fund providing capital to federal and state security grant recipients to make all necessary security upgrades immediately while awaiting reimbursement from the government. This program provides interest-free loans of up to $150,000 to organizations in our area.  Click here for more information, or contact Fred Cohen at
Please be aware of the DA’s Tips Hotline (914-995-TIPS) to help combat hate and bias in Westchester.

If anyone requires help with security grants, please contact
As always and per protocol, please report any security concerns immediately to your local Police Department and then to the Council and to CSI/Bill Hayes for follow up.
Stay alert, prepared and safe.

Please send any security questions/concerns to
We invite teens in the community to represent their agencies and synagogues at our WJC Youth Volunteer Roundtable. We ask our Youth Professionals to recommend a teen(s) to join us at the table. Please send the name and contact and any questions to Donna Bartell - 

Thank you to The Jewish Education Project for working so closely with our Teen professionals and volunteers!

The Youth Volunteer Roundtable created a facebook page for an exchange of information which can be accessed here -

For a complete and timely schedule and other television providers, go to 

The Hudson Valley 211 Helpline is Here
Call 211/Visit your zipcode to 898211
This is a service of United Way of Westchester and Putnam.

Westchester Jewish Council
925 Westchester Avenue, Suite 200, White Plains, NY 10604
914-328-7001 | |
For information regarding submissions, please contact Lori Kurlander
The next Community Connection will be published on or about September 2, 2021